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Diverse diet key to healthy bees

Study reveals best plants for wild bee nutrition

By Farms.com

Wild bees play a vital role in our ecosystems, but their health is threatened by human activities. To ensure their survival, scientists are studying their dietary needs. A new study has identified plants that provide essential nutrients for wild bees.

The research, published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, analyzed the nutritional value of pollen from 57 North American plant species. The scientists found that bees require a balanced diet of protein, lipids, and other nutrients found in pollen.

"No single plant species is ideal for all wild bees," explains Dr. Sandra Rehan, lead author of the study. "Bees benefit from a diverse floral diet to obtain the right balance of fatty acids and amino acids."

The study highlights the importance of specific plants like roses, clovers, red raspberries, and tall buttercups. These plants offer a good balance of nutrients crucial for bee health.

Interestingly, the research found no significant nutritional advantage in feeding from native plants compared to introduced species. However, a diverse diet incorporating various plants is essential for optimal bee health.

The findings provide valuable insights for creating pollinator gardens. Planting a variety of flowers ensures bees have access to the nutrients they need to thrive. This research paves the way for future studies on bee preferences and the impact of diet on their survival.


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